Thoughts on Alarm industry responses druing the Coronavirus pandemic.
April 9, 2020
veryone is asking the same question, “When will things get back to normal?” At this point, I think we will all agree on the answer — never. COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. Just like our lives changed after the Sept 11th, 2001 terrorist attack, life will be different as we move on from this pandemic.
As we move forward many things will change. Fortunately, wherever there is change there is opportunity.
The office spaces we work in will be reconfigured based on working from home or remotely. Commercial office space will be re-tooled so that large groups of people are not packed into cubical jungles. Access to the office will continue to require security controls. Open floor plans may be history.
We will be reluctant to be in crowds, which will change the way we shop, recreate and worship. Retail shopping, already under pressure from reduced traffic, is only going to become more challenged. Online retail businesses should continue to grow as our primary or at least significant sources for everything. Secure home or remote delivery technologies will expand rapidly.
Travel will change too. It will probably be a long time before many of us consider taking a cruise. Which is sad because, for us, cruises are considered real vacations. We will think twice about jumping on an airplane for a face-to-face meeting. We are already finding that a videoconference will satisfy many of the personal requirements of meetings without investing the time and money to travel.
Door openings will become much more automated. We will think about every door handle, exit device or lock that we touch from now on. I expect the automatic door business should surge and the application of anti-microbial finishes will be applied to all surfaces we touch from door handles to table tops. Automatic doors are already integrated into a building’s security system, but today the auto door market is largely sold and serviced by a specialty channel. Could we see commercial door & hardware distributors and systems integrators consider automatic doors as core products to their offerings?
Our priorities will shift too. For most of us this time has renewed the importance of family. Focus on the family and home will add even more growth to the home automation and security market.
I have talked to nearly all of our clients and friends who sold their businesses in 2019; each one felt they’d made a brilliant move. Our current clients now face an uncertain situation. We are not sure of the business climate going forward but we can be sure that security will remain a priority, and that businesses in this market will always be in demand. Deals may be done via videoconferencing, phone or email, but they will be done.
New applications will emerge in ways we haven’t thought of. One of our clients has received a large order from a hospital for security cameras with two-way communications. Medical staff will be able to see and talk to a patient without having personal contact.
We will get through this, the economy will rebound, and we will find new applications for security systems. Hang in there. Be safe. And be ready for new opportunities.
— Dave Sylvester, Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group.